OZONE - O3
Ozone is a colourless to light blue gas that has a characteristic odour. It owes its name to that smell, because ozone is derived from the Greek word 'ozein', which means 'smell'.
What is ozone?
Ozone is found both high up in the atmosphere, in the stratosphere, and close to the earth's surface, the troposphere. Ozone in the stratosphere protects us from harmful UV light. That is the 'good' ozone. But there is also 'bad' ozone, that is the ozone close to the earth's surface. This is where ozone is created from the reaction of sunlight to air with nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These three substances, NOx, VOCs and O3, together contribute to smog formation. This ozone is called 'bad' because it has a negative impact on nature and human health.
What is the problem of ozone?
In the troposphere, ozone pollutes nature and is bad for human health.
What ozone does in nature
High ozone concentrations can cause leaf damage in certain plants. Plants may also be more susceptible to diseases and pests. In addition, ozone can affect the degree of photosynthesis, leading to a reduction in yield. For example, if ozone concentrations are high, the yield of wheat, for example, will be reduced.
What ozone does to human health
Ozone is associated with various health complaints, including irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract, headaches, dry throat, reduction of infection resistance, nausea, tightness, asthma and lung damage. The extent of the complaints depends on the amount of ozone to which a person is exposed, how long a person has inhaled ozone, and that person's health.
How does satellite data help with the ozone problem?
The amount of 'bad' ozone in the air needs to be reduced. Satellite data can help. For example, satellites can be used to map the concentration of ozone in the air on highways and to monitor the effect of measures on air quality.
- The name ozone is derived from the Greek word 'ozein' which means 'smell'.
- Ozone found in the stratosphere protects us from harmful UV light.
- Ozone that is close to the earth's surface is bad for nature and human health.
- Satellite data can be used to map ozone concentrations.
- Satellite data can be used to monitor whether certain measures have an effect on the concentration of ozone in the air.